Mouse lung CD103+ and CD11bhigh dendritic cells preferentially induce distinct CD4+ T-cell responses

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Feb;46(2):165-72. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2011-0070OC. Epub 2011 Aug 25.


Mouse lung dendritic cells (LDCs) have been recently shown to contain two major subpopulations: CD103(+) CD11b(low or negative) (CD103(+) LDCs) and CD103(-) CD11b(high) LDCs (CD11b(high) LDCs). Although several studies have demonstrated functional differences between them, it is unclear whether the subpopulations induce distinct T helper (Th) cell responses. The present study was conducted to examine whether CD103(+) and CD11b(high) LDCs preferentially generate different Th responses. Naive DO11.10 CD4(+) T cells were primed with CD103(+) or CD11b(high) LDCs obtained from normal BALB/c mice. The primed CD4(+) T cells were restimulated, and their cytokine secretions were assessed. The expression of intracellular cytokines and the mRNA levels of chemokine receptors were also measured. We found that the CD4(+) T cells primed with CD103(+) LDCs secreted significantly larger amounts of IFN-γ and IL-17A, whereas those primed with CD11b(high) LDCs released significantly higher levels of IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10. Intracellular cytokine assay showed that CD103(+) LDCs induced greater frequencies of CD4(+) T cells producing IFN-γ and IL-17A, whereas CD11b(high) LDCs were more efficient at inducing CD4(+) T cells producing IL-4 and IL-10. The mRNA levels of CXCR3 and CCR5, which are expressed preferentially in Th1 cells, were significantly higher in CD4(+) T cells primed with CD103(+) LDCs. The mRNA levels of CXCR4 and CCR4, which are expressed primarily in Th2 cells, were significantly greater in those primed with CD11b(high) LDCs. These data suggest that mouse CD103(+) LDCs predominantly elicit Th1 and Th17 responses, whereas CD11b(high) LDCs primarily provoke a Th2 response under the steady state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • CD11 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Integrin alpha Chains / immunology*
  • Lung / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD11 Antigens
  • Integrin alpha Chains
  • alpha E integrins